Lille: Expanding research into women’s cycling

Data tells a thousand stories… 

Delivering mobility for women requires understanding their travel patterns. Without data on female modal preferences and attitudes, sustainable offerings will remain at the fringe of urban mobility. 

“Data collection is essential to mobility planning as it helps us understand the system we are catering fordesigning a better and more complete system that it’s not beneficial only to women but to every user. says Laura Babio, Project Officer at POLIS, and co-author of Shared Data for Shared micromobility survey report 

POLIS member, Lille Metropole has redoubling its efforts to ensure public transport and active travel is available to all citizens; from promoting the accessibility of public spaces and buildings, to actively engaging young people in safe and sustainable mobility issues.  

The Metropole is also enhancing data on women’s mobility patterns. Copenhagenize Design Co has been conducting research on women’s cycling patterns in Lille, the barriers they face, their perceptions of the bicycle and perceived risks. Through surveys and focus groups, the organisation gathered and analysed data from women living in Lille to explore how cycling infrastructure can be adapted to encourage more women to cycle. Drawing from the responses, researchers recommended More protected bicycle infrastructure, traffic-calming, additional street lighting and dedicated bike workshops for women. 

These efforts are a step in the right direction for improving understanding of women’s mobility. Current methodologies- which frequently take male-centred participant recruitment, language, and hypotheses, repeatedly fail to decipher the core issues affecting women’s experiences and grasp the required changes. 

We have a lot to learn from Lille!